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As you can probably tell, I am fooling with the WordPress app for android. It is actually working pretty well–better than when I tried it on my ipod touch. My only complaint is that I haven’t found a way to put pictures anywhere other than at the top of my post. I can live with that.
We walked to the multi-use park down the street from the Mister’s apartment yesterday. It had a nice two mile track that we walked and featured soccer fields, playgrounds and an off leash area for dogs. All of the playground equipment came with its own shade–very necessary here.
We stopped at U-Swirl after and I fell in love with the strawberry and lychee pearls. So Yum! I also found a Trader Joes which has so many of the foods I miss when I am here. Cheese, fresh fruit and veggies, less chemicals.
Our only plan for today is to hit up a local sushi happy hour for birthday sushi goodness. I am sad that I am heading home tomorrow and somewhat apprehensive relying on public transportation to get me to the airport, but glad that the Mister will be joining me in New Orleans for ALA.
For now. There is still a chance things will change, but for now I haven’t gotten a letter. I don’t like that anyone is getting laid off though, and I hope we find a way to keep that from happening.
Had a lovely staff day today, learning all about the budget and what might come in the future (digital devices you can check out?!?…maybe some day). Mostly it just made me tired, but that might have been the little bit of sleep I got the night before. Union executive board meeting tomorrow. Lots of discussing to do. Still feel limbo-y about all this stuff.
What am I reading? Half heartedly a few different things. The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall, which was something I picked up at PLA and never got around to reading. It is a lot like Big Love.
People are getting their numbers today, via work email. I haven’t gotten one yet. They have until 5pm to send them out. Branch managers are being eliminated, so those in that position will have to take an open position or bump librarians in order to keep their jobs. Sigh. Waiting is so hard.
Especially since I love my job. I know the others affected do too. It is hard to advocate for yourself in a budget crisis–why is my job more important than any of the other people/services being cut? :P
Tomorrow’s the big day. Budget announcements. I probably won’t find out about my specific job for a couple more weeks after that, but we will have a much better idea of where we stand tomorrow. The City Librarian told us on Thursday that the cuts have decreased to 8% and managers tell us that at their meeting on Friday, they were told 7%. That is certainly good news, but still a lot more than the budget cuts we have faced over the last couple of years. Most of those were 1.5% and could be answered by eliminating empty positions and a week long furlough. This is definitely not that.
One of the fear making issues during this budget cut time is the secrecy that the Mayor’s office puts around the decision making process. I am not sure what the reasoning is behind this, but McGinn is not the only one. Nickels really started the whole thing. I found out recently that not only do the plans have to be secret, but our library council is not even allowed to talk to each other about it. What? Really? These are the people who have to approve a final budget. Is the Mayor hoping that by keeping them from talking to one another…trying hard to pull this out…that they will make better choices? Or won’t have time to be informed enough to make different choices than the Mayor laid in front of them? Can he really care that much about what cuts the library makes? His comments up to now show he really doesn’t care about the library much at all, although he does like to use it himself occasionally.
In Libraryland, I keep on trucking. Teen Advisory went great and we are well underway planning our first event. I hosted Danger: Books at the middle school in my area recently and as usual, it totally rocked and inspired me. The actors are so great and I love hearing my favorite books acted out. I taught my first computer class in over a month and it went really well, with a full house.
What am I reading? I finally finished The Broken Teaglass a few days ago and found it a nice change in scenery. The writing is dry and the characters are shallowly defined. The only person you really get to know is the main character and at first he is one of the biggest mysteries of all. Billy is new to Samuelson, a company that compiles dictionaries. He feels lucky to have a job, being a newly graduated, but isn’t sure that being a lexicographer is for him. He is also a reluctant mystery solver when a strange citation falls into his lap and it appears that someone has been murdered, but his new friend Mona talks him into taking the plunge.
I am almost done with The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller. I was looking forward to this because I really liked both Kiki Strike books. Don’t get me wrong, I do like this book…mostly. I like the strong female protagonist, I like the story line: people who are born again and again because something is drawing them back, I liked the characters. Sigh, I don’t like that the main character, Haven, can’t seem to tell when the others are lying to her. Ever. She is tricked time and time again by the same people. Haven needs a big gong rung that says “trick me once, shame on you, trick me twice, shame on me.”
And just when I think that things are going well and that I am doing useful work, I get a reminder that our City Librarian thinks I am less useful than Google. I know she would be appalled that her words were used this way, but the fact that she said them at all is just awful. And the article is true, there is not anything in there I would disagree with, except the part that says that the folks overseeing the community conversations were librarians. While they might hold the degree, many of them have not worked with the public for many years and some never in the library world. They do not represent me or my position.
This article just made me sad. Sad for our future. Librarians are not only the people that find you that dvd you were looking for, we are the ones that protect your right to privacy, make sure you have access to information and provide a gateway to technology for those who haven’t had the exposure. This article makes it clear that librarians are slowly being specialized, dumbed down and minimized until someday people will say “what is a librarian?” We have already lost several library positions to clerical positions that do our “basic” duties, and all of the new hires into that position have librarian degrees.
I love my job and will continue to do it cheerfully and to the best of my ability. I was starting to feel warm and cozy here again, reluctant to ever leave because I feel that I have a bright future in my system. This article reminds me that I am just a number to be moved or eliminated and while I might get warm fuzzies from above occasionally, this is the bottom line.
Nothing like a jolt of reality to sharpen the mind.
at my big branch.
I still had a lot of stuff to pack, but somehow it got done fairly quickly.
We had a potluck–I am not the only one leaving here. They are also losing their children’s librarian, manager and assistant manager. Another dear team member left a couple of weeks ago for Library School in Indiana. The potluck was at our staff meeting. We mostly talked about books we were reading and wrote nice stuff about each other. It was a nice last meeting.
As if fate was teasing me, there were several teens and tweens in when I was on desk asking for books.
I had a last cup of tea with questionable almond milk. I have to stop doing that.
I had a nice goodbye with co-workers, especially my manager and my fellow librarians. Even the guy that eats tuna fish sandwiches in the office and leaves crumbs all over my desk and keyboard said he would miss me. I will miss him, too.
Each goodbye hug and email made me sad in a happy way. I am sad to leave all of these cool people. This was a good chapter in my life. I hope the next one can live up to it.
Hey, no bad patron interactions. Blessed day.
at my smaller branch…
One of my favorite co-workers called in sick :(
Got sworn at for asking a guy to turn down his headphones. Of course the rest of us should be inconvenienced so that you can continue to ruin your hearing. How silly of me.
Was told that I could just print a rental agreement off the internet by a guy that doesn’t know how to use a computer. Sure, if you want to pay for it. Let’s try this book instead.
Had to ask a woman to stop yelling at her children in the library. We are just too small for that sort of thing (there was no talking, only yelling).
Had my favorite barista come and say goodbye to me and give me a hug. Now that’s service :)
Had a scone and a pie from favorite coffee place–a double short non-fat latte with a sugar in the raw too. And it was all yummy.
Helped many people print from the computers.
Was given a book recommendation by a regular patron.
Otherwise had an uneventful day. Hoorah!
Not my teenager…
For anyone who didn’t read my old blog: I am a mentor in the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration. I was matched with a 16 year old girl who was in juvy for fighting, but also had a history of drugs and prostitution. She has very little family and she was pregnant. I went out and visited her at least once a month and called every week to check in with her. We started out with a pretty good relationship, although a little more distant than I would like. Just before she had her baby, she was placed in foster care in a rural town. She had a beautiful boy, was going to school and had a stable, if boring, home life. Several months later she took her child to a friends house and didn’t return. As a ward of the state, she was a runaway.
She got picked up a few weeks later and her son was put into foster care. Mentee (as I will call her) ran away again, but turned herself in several times, each time saying she was ready to turn a new leaf. This happened again a couple of weeks ago. I got to visit with her just before going on vacation and everything seemed to be going well. She got transfered from a transitional housing unit to a temporary group home and was waiting for visitation with her son. The visitation kept getting pushed back because the foster parent was away or the baby was sick. Then Mentee got in a white van a few days ago and has purportedly said she will not return. She turns 18 this summer and the state will have washed its hands of her. Her son will go into more permanent housing, but I still can’t figure out if that means a longer term foster care placement or adoption. I hope for the latter.
I admit that this plays with me a bit. In the grand scheme of things, I am not important in this. BUT It hurts that I can’t visit the baby and make sure he is ok. I wish Mentee would talk to me when she is on the streets, but she never answers and when she calls me, she hangs up as soon as I answer. Some of this makes me want to be a foster parent and other times it makes me want to stay as far away from it as possible. Maybe when I am older.
What am I watching? Torchwood! We are on Season 2 now and I will be sad when it is over. Anyone who likes Buffy, Angel or Firefly would like it, I think. It has inspired me to try Doctor Who again, but I think I will go with the newest incarnation.